Crooked Jack

Words : Dominic Behan / Music : Trad.
Lyric as sung by Dick Gaughan

Come Irishmen both young and stern
With adventure in your soul
There are better ways to spend your days
Than in working down a hole

I was tall and true all of 6 foot 2
But they broke me across the back
By a name I'm known and it's not my own
They call me Crooked Jack

The ganger's blue-eyed boy was I
Big Jack could do no wrong
And the reason simply was because
I could work hard hours and long

I've seen men old before their time
Their faces drawn and gray
But I never thought so soon would mine
Be lined the self-same way

I curse the day I went away
To work on the hydro dams
Our sweat and tears, our hopes and fears
Bound up in shuttering jams

They say that honest toil is good
For the spirit and the soul
But believe me boys it's for sweat and blood
That they want you down the hole


Song Notes

The melody is a variant of that best known In Ireland as "The Star of the County Down", and in England as "Dives and Lazarus".


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